Meeting Of The Minds: Trying To Stop Violence In High Point

High Point Violence Meeting

HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Stop the violence.  It's what we keep hearing from people in High Point after another wave of shootings just this week.  It's a cycle we've seen in the city before.

"It's ridiculous.  It's sad."

That leads us to Thursday night's meeting, a group of about 100 people sitting at the YMCA talking about solutions to the latest surge in the city's violence.

"A lot of people are questioning what are we going to do? But not a lot of people are saying we need to do this," says Elishia Lowery.


Patricia Waden echoes her concern.  "We need to more than just talk."

Waden is turning her anguish into action.  She just started a non-profit called Mission Accepting R Youth, to help kids in the community.

"if they're lost now, what is our future going to hold?"

She's experienced that uncertainty first-hand.  Her son was shot earlier this year.  He survived, but it proved to be her tipping point.

"That touched my heart," Waden says. "Because that showed me something had to be done."

And these meetings help push others to that edge.

"I've seen a lot of difference," explains High Point Police Chief Kenneth Shultz.

Chief Shultz has been to a lot of these "stop the violence" meetings and every time he says there's more and more people who show up and seem to care.

"I think if they actually continue to follow through on some of their ideas I think we'll see some positive change," he explains.

He also says it starts with the community.  A group of officers and citizens went door to door Thursday in the Green Drive neighborhood, where the latest shootings happened.

"These people take off from work," he explains. "They go out in the community to show people that they care."

Another thing Chief Shultz says a lot of this violence, particulary the shootings, comes when people try to take matters into their own hands.  His department's biggest challenge is getting witnesses to come forward to help them solve these crimes.  He reminds people there are ways to get information to police anonymously, like crimestoppers.

"They're doing retaliatory stuff," he explains.  "They're trying to take care of it themselves, then we end up with shootings elsewhere."

Lowery is one of many people fed up with the violence.  This was her first meeting and now she's motivated to hit the streets.

"Come out and make posters," she says.  "That's the first step."

Time will tell if that will work, but it's better than just being all talk.

"Go post it up in your neighborhood," Lowery says.  "One car drives by and sees that poster. Stop the violence. That sounds like a good idea."

© 2017 WFMY-TV


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